Future-proof your utilities before you start digging
On 7th March 2023, a Severn Trent Water main burst on a construction site in Beeston, Nottingham.
The ground works contractor struck the pipe whilst digging the foundations for a new development. Neighbouring houses were flooded, and windows were smashed resulting in tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage. Videos from the scene show water-sprays towering over local houses. The trams had to stop running in this area due to flooding.
"High Road has been closed and trams in the area have been stopped.” said the Nottingham Post.
This could have been avoided if the building contractor had a utilities strategy. A utilities strategy is a document which locates the existing services beneath the earth’s surface. This involves an in-depth analysis during the discovery and location of utilities assets, before detailing the feasibility of utilising the existing assets or the requirement for new connections. We help our clients, develop the overall utilities strategy, and assess what costs are associated with the disconnections, diversions and connections for your project by communicating with the local infrastructure providers.
A clear direction for the utility’s strategy would have found the assets below ground and allowed the developer to supply cost provisions for Seven Trent to divert the asset and allow for a clear site for the building contractor to build on. Fortunately, no-one was hurt in this incident, however highly pressured pipework and electrified high-voltage ad low-voltage cables can cause severe injury and even death under some circumstances.